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These 45 ‘Disturbing’ Monsters Provide Ample D&D Creature Inspiration

These 45 ‘Disturbing’ Monsters Provide Ample D&D Creature Inspiration

Dungeons and Dragons has managed to remain a pinnacle of gaming for more than four decades due, in large part, to how well it stimulates the imagination. But every new campaign needs some kind of jumping off point, especially if you’re going to be creating some monsters whole cloth–without the help of a neural net. To that end, here before you are 45 of the most insane and twisted mythical creatures ever imagined by people, from across the globe. Hopefully they’ll inspire you to really stretch the dark side of your DMagination.

45 Scary and Disturbing Mythical Creatures from Around the World

The list was created by Kate Maloney of the Halloween costume site, Costume Craze. Maloney is CEO of Costume Craze, and also apparently has some insane infographic-making skills. This is only one of a handful of infographics she’s made, and they’re all awesomely detailed.

While some of the baddies on this list are reasonably familiar–e.g. Cerberus, Gargoyle (Gargouille), Minotaur–most of the beasts are esoteric and made of unique brain-twisting combinations of limbs and mouths and organs. And the best part is, they’re all based on real, truly horrific and violent myths. (The amount of skulls these creatures deal with must be astronomical.)

Japanese image of the Gashadokuro. Image: Wikimedia / Public Domain

Gashadokuro from Japan, for example, “are spirits that take the form of giant skeletons and are fifteen times taller than an average person, [and] said to be created from the amassed bones of people who died of starvation or in battle…” They also ” roam after midnight, grabbing lone travelers and biting off their heads to drink their spraying blood.” Which is probably the best endorsement for the buddy system ever, right?

The Grootslang, the creature in the image at the top, is born from a South African legend and is a mistake made by the Gods when they were first creating the world. It lures victims into its “Wonder Hole” cave and devours them, unless they give it diamonds. Penanggalan detaches from her body at night and flies, with exposed organs flopping, in search of blood. The Wendigo is a cannibal driven to madness by its own greed. The Dullahan is a headless horseman who uses a human spine as his whip. The list goes on and on. And it’s all amazing, and perfect for some D&D campaign fodder.

Drawing of the Nuckelavee. Image: Wikimedia / James Torrance

What do you think about these 45 mythical monsters? Do you think any of these could ever inspire your D&D campaigns? Give us your thoughts in the comments below!

Images: Jeff McArthur

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